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I Learn to Master the Awesome Serves

I am an avid table tennis player. My dream is to become a famous table-tennis player. I think, that one of the most important things in table-tennis, is they serve. The serve, is the start, of the so-called “war”.

timo serve

I’m comfortable with my hitting ability, but my serves are not nearly as good. I notice that most of the advanced/professional players use an under-spin short serve. I have trouble using spin on a serve.

I have tried a different grip, but I feel uncomfortable. I don’t have a practice table and prefer practicing with a partner as opposed to hitting balls. Which is probably why I suck at it.

I don’t have a table-tennis table, but that has not stopped me from playing table-tennis. I wish could meet Kenta someday, and be on the ITTF list. Whenever I go to play table-tennis, I troll people with serves. We have this thing at the end of the “training” ( Our “teacher’ can’t do s***), where we play a simple set with our training partner, to 7 points, each one serve.

When you win, you go to a table to the left, and when you lose, you go to a table to the right. Ergo, many chances for training serves. I seriously have trouble with playing a forehand, and my backhand technique is also…meh… 🙁 :'( But the serves…Ohohoh…Because of them, I easily win points. I suggest you start with easy serves, such as high-toss serves of Werner Schlager and Wang Liqin.

Just copy the movements. Try them at home. If you have a room with enough space, try practicing throwing the ball and hitting contact. You can see the spin on the ball. It might seem weird at first, but give it a try.

When playing table-tennis, try those serves. Women have a different physique, but it should not hold you back. You have to understand and “feel” the serves. I can help you with them if you want to. 🙂 For starters, check out the link I sent in this message. If you have any questions, ask immediately. 🙂

I think I need a table to practice because when I go to the club, pong addicts engage me in play 🙂 My forehand is strong and many people like to play my backhand though, my footwork isn’t as fast either. I play mostly men as I find spin rather than speed gets them more often.

If I hit hard, they return it harder. I am fast with excellent hand/eye coordination, but they usually out-spin me. I have done those drills playing to 5-6 points.

I had some group training from Sean O’neal when first starting out, he emphasized footwork. Using body position to be deceptive rather than using fancy serves. I am the 2nd top female player in our league, which using rating central (I understand is an average of 200 points less than USATT ratings), my highest rating was 967 with rating central; most of the men are somewhere between 1100-1800.

We also have a resident coach we pay for training. However, serving takes practice. Good servers definitely spend time on it and seem to like it. unlike me. I will look for the sites you mentioned, but first, I need a table. I had a free place to go to, but now, I live far and I don’t have that access.

I am not a very good player, but as I said, no one returns my serves, simply, because they aren’t ‘fancy’, but deceptive. Just do serves, and add extra movement after you hit the ball. For instance, if I were to do a pendulum where the side-spin goes clockwise, then that means after I hit the ball, I will add an extra movement to the left. (Right-handed.)

Why Do You Need To Serve Short?

Sometimes, we don’t think about what comes after our serves, so let’s talk about the importance of serving short.

The main idea

When serving short, the idea is to prevent yourself from being attacked. However, many players neglect the short serve practice and end up suffering the consequences.


serve shot
Zhang Jike of China serves to Jiang Tianyi (R) of Hong Kong during a table tennis men’s singles quarter-final match of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Excel center in London on July 31, 2012. AFP PHOTO / Saeed KhanSAEED KHAN/AFP/GettyImages

So, why do we need to serve short?

I’ve seen 90% of all pro rallies have their ends between 3 to 6 strokes, not just serving, but returning short helped in those fast rallies. To attack, we need to prepare the rally for us. The short service is a good option to force your opponent, to lift the ball, so get your chance to attack and win the point with a third or fourth ball attack.

The Practice

Once you know you need to serve short, try to put an obstacle in your table as a reference and use the ball to hit it. Start moving this obstacle closer to the net, until it gets as close as possible, this draws your attention to your serve, and forces you to serve short.

What kind of short serve should I do?

There are many kinds of short serves out there, search for one that suits you. Focus on getting it really close to the net, it may take a long time to master, but once you get it, you’ll see the advantage you can get by adjusting your serve.

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